Report: Team USA players grumbling about ‘San Antonio offense’

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich at Team USA-France men's basketball game at Tokyo Olympics
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

The United States men’s basketball team losing to France caused plenty of angst.

Apparently including among Team USA players, who don’t sound thrilled with U.S./San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic:

The players are frustrated, too, grumbling on their way back to the locker room about “running the San Antonio offense” when apparently they feel like there are better ideas.

Several years ago, the Spurs became known for their “beautiful game” offense. San Antonio players passed, cut and passed and cut again.

More recently, the Spurs’ offense has been defined by isolation and mid-range shooting.

Which of those contrasting styles are the Team USA players complaining about? It’s unclear. Against France, the Americans both tried to run somewhat-more-complex actions that didn’t work as well as the French plays and isolated (though jacking more 3-pointers than San Antonio does in those situations).

With a roster assembled on the fly, Team USA has limited chemistry. More-involved plays are difficult to execute.

The isolations didn’t go so well, either. There’s a lower ceiling on isos, and players stuck watching their teammates dominate the ball can become disengaged.

Really, the biggest takeaway: Everyone is frustrated.